Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Blizzcon Experience



Blizzcon. A place for the WoW players to mingle and share their love of all things Blizzard. This year I was fortunate enough to be able to get tickets to the convention. I think that the only appropriate word that I can think of to describe it was: AWESOME! I had written a blog post about how I was worried that my introvertedness would make an appearance and punch me in the face. Thankfully that was not the case! So buckle up my faithful readers for beyond this point lies Blizzcon! (Also expect a lot of name dropping)


Arrival

My wife and I flew out Thursday afternoon and when we got to the airport we discovered that our flight was delayed over an hour. Not a good start for our trip but we eventually made it to sunny Anaheim! Because of the delay we left the airport and ran right into horrible rush hour traffic. What should have taken 20 minutes took almost an hour.
Eventually we made it in to the hotel where we had a room rate issue but thanks to my smartphone I was able to find the confirmation email with the correct rate. We went up to our room and dropped off our stuff and my wife had to work a little bit while I found the email and sent it along to the hotel staff. We made our way down to the badge pick up line and thankfully when we got in line, it was moving pretty quickly. We waited under an hour and were able to finally make it to the front of the line in the convention center.

Badges in hand, the wife went back upstairs to work some more so she could enjoy the rest of the weekend work free. I decided to go wander around the Hilton lobby where I ran into Aero, Nyxy, Fontis, and Exlucis.

We chatted a little bit before I ran into Hestiah and talked with her a few minutes before heading upstairs to my room to grab my guildee who had just arrived at our room and was staying with us for the trip.

We descended into the Hilton lobby and managed to find HayFayFay who walked with us over to the Anabella for the WoW Insider/Wowhead party. Sadly the party had just shut down as we got there so we walked back to the Hilton lobby where we hung out and chatted up people. I met up with LorekeeperGlaci, Kelesti, Hestiah, Entropia, and Jasyla. It was pretty sweet to talk to everyone even if it was only for a few minutes. I decided to retire for the night and so ended the first night of my trip.

The First Day


Since I woke up at 7am due to the timezone difference between Illinois and California, I had plenty of time to figure out what I wanted to do that day. I of course got up and played Tiny Death Star for the iPad until people started waking up for Blizzcon! Clearly my wife, my guildee, and his girlfriend needed to get their priorities in order! We had room service and headed down to the convention a little after the doors opened so we managed to avoid the horrible line out front. (I had made a cool light up jacket that I decided to wear to the convention so if you see any pictures of me, I'll probably have it on and glowing!) Inside we walked around a bit to look at the vendor booths before walking into the massive main hall to see the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony was pretty awesome and there were so many people packed into that hall that it took a little bit before we were able to find four seats together. We stayed in that hall for the next three panels which was pretty sweet. We were able to move up to sit a little closer to the stage so that was cool. A lot of awesome panels and we managed to meet up with our guildee again for the art panel down at the other end of the convention center. We saw a few panels and then went back to the main hall for the costume/talent contest. We accidently got into the line for people participating in the costume contest but were easily able to get out of line before we were ushered backstage. We saw a lot of super cool costumes and it was obvious who put the effort into making their costume. I also waved at @khuruuk who was sitting a few rows down from where I was at. We skipped out on the rest of the talent show because honestly we were interested and we had more important things to do: PARTY!

Friday night was the Twisted Nether party and there was no way that we were going to be missing it. Especially since Hydra pretty much threatened my life if I didn’t show up for the party. It was at the Bowlmor bowling alley a short walking distance away and so we journeyed over there. We got there and there was already a decent crowd there. One of my guild tanks ran over to us as soon as we arrived and in true guild sucking up fashion, he gave me a drink ticket so I could get some booze. Such a good boy that Rofer. I got a hug from Hydra and a handshake from Fimlys and Rilandune. After a few drinks I met @RogueDarren who was a guest on my podcast, which was cool. Rilandune was nice enough to introduce me to two nice people who were looking for a flex raid and we chatted a bit about raiding.

Twice was super nice enough to chase me down and buy me a drink at the bar like he had previously told me he would during one of our raids. Darren, Twice, Rofer, and I stood around talking raids for a bit before I realized that Vidyala was at the party. I went to get a refill at the bar and I talk to her for a bit before she introduced me to Vosskah, Kaleri, Rhidach, and Antigen. Their table was engaged in much tank talk so it was interesting to hear that. I also got Navispammed in real life by @Navimiedruid which was a surprise since she was the only person who had left a comment on my Blizzcon plans post.

My wife wandered over to the table at one point and informed me that it was time to leave since it was past midnight. Of course I agreed since I'd been drinking the whole time I'd gotten to the party three hours prior. I said my goodbyes to people and we went back to our hotel to end the night.

Day Two

The next day, none of us wanted to see the live raid so we all slept in a bit and my wife and I made our way down to the convention center first developer panel. Was amazing to see all the changes they have planned for the next expansion. I ran into @Aerix and met his fiancee which was pretty neat. I had @totmdispenzr chase me down and we chatted for a few minutes. He had tried finding me the day before but we apparently kept missing each other by minutes at each panel. Glaci came by to find my guildee and myself and we all sat together for the Q&A panel that came next.

At the start of Blizzcon my guildee told me that whenever he saw Corey Stockton/@Mumper he always pictured Dewey from Malcom in the Middle. During the panel my guildee decided to spend time making a picture of Dewey and Mumper next to each other. I of course laughed and had him email it to me. I tweeted it out and included Mumper in the tweet. Some people saw it, laughed, and most people forgot about it.

After the panel my guildee and I wandered around the convention and played the Warlords of Draenor beta which was cool. I picked a male gnome mage and my guildee rolled a gnome lock. We had no clue if we had to go back outside and get in line to run the instance so we just asked one of the people telling us how much time we had. He had no clue so he grabbed a Blizzard employee who said we had the item in our bags. Of course my guildee and I told him we wanted to run the instance. He laughed and asked if it was just going to be the two of us and when we told him that was all we needed, he told us to go for it. Now my guildee and I have been playing WoW together since vanilla and we both are good at our classes. We used the item to get ported to the instance entrance and ran in. We then proceeded to clear trash to the ring of mobs before we died and the volunteer dude said we were out of time. Had we had more time, we could have definitely gotten to a boss.

We wandered around a bit before heading back to the hotel to meet up with my wife and my guildee's girlfriend who had gone to a spa appointment. We had tickets to Medieval Times and let me tell you now, that place is fun sober but when you're drinking it is even MORE fun! There was jousting, cheering, horses, and swordplay! The best part was that during the drive to the Medievial Times location, I got an email notification letting me know someone retweeted my Dewey/Mumper picture. When I looked at who it was, it was none other than Mumper himself! For the rest of the night my phone blew up as people retweeted/favorited the tweet.

It was a good time and when we got back to the hotel we walked into a jam packed Hilton lobby. The wall of noise was deafening. We headed back to the hotel room where I tweeted @Elfindale to see where she was at and she told me that she was hanging with Vidyala in her room and that I should come by. My guildee and I headed over and we got to hang out with Vidyala, Vosskah, Elfindale, Rhidach, and Beartank. After a bit my guildee and I decided to venture downstairs where we met up with Fimlys and hung out. My guildee vanished and when I went to look for him I ran into Mumper! I took a picture with him and told him that he caused my phone to go crazy because of that retweet. He laughed and was a really good sport about it. As I was talking to him I got a text from my guildee who was across the lobby. The text? It was a picture of him and Mumper.

We wandered around the lobby and I was able to take pictures with @Rhowow, Matticus, Zarhym, Nethaera, Ion Hazzikostas, and Dave Kosak. My guildee and Fim of course tried to jump into the background of all the shots and photobomb them. The party in the lobby started dying down and so my guildee and I head back to our room to crash for the night. The silence in the elevator was so odd after the lobby and its craziness.

Dawn of the Third Day

The next day we all got up and headed to breakfast at IHOP where Glaci met up with us and we had some delicious breakfast. We went to Disney and spent most of the day walking around the park and waiting in said park lines. I ran into Vidyala and @Beruheals at the Star Wars ride shop which was neat. I also ran across Exlucis and his wife Fontis while we were in line for another ride. There was a lot of line waiting and very little meeting people at Disney but that's ok because we had a great time. Since my wife and I live in Illinois, we laughed at the heat lamps that were all over the restaurant we had dinner at. It was in the low 60s and everyone was complaining of the cold. Silly Californians.

We headed back to the hotel and since all of us were so tired from walking around the park, we all fell asleep quickly. It had been a good day.

The End?

The next day my wife and I packed all our stuff, fedexed whatever we couldn't fit into our luggage, and said good bye to my guildee and his girlfriend. We headed to the airport and I said my last goodbyes to Anaheim and Blizzcon. It was a great time and my wife and I are going to try to head back for the next one. I was able to meet up with several people and talk to people who I usually only tweet with. I probably would have met more people had I tweeted out what I looked like BEFORE the convention so if people saw me they'd hopefully recognize me. But this is all lessons learned for next time I suppose. There were some people who I saw and wanted to talk to but just couldn't so I still have some introvert issues to work on. I think maybe next year I will give out stickers or something to all the people I meet. It was a great time and if we met and I forgot to mention you in this post, please don't take it personally. I have a horrible memory and I tried as hard as I could to remember who I met.

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